March 23, 2014 00:00 By Prapasri Osathanon,
Suthep vows to oppose election if it is held before national reform
United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) leader Jatuporn Promphan yesterday announced a mass rally of red shirts on April 5 but did not specify the venue.
The red shirts yesterday held a mass rally in South Pattaya, Chon Buri, where they organised a rite to mourn the Constitutional Court ruling on Friday annulling the February 2 election.
Jatuporn called on the red shirts to wear black from tomorrow to Sunday to mourn the behaviour of independent agencies.
People’s Democratic Reform Committee chief Suthep Thaugsuban on Friday night said the PDRC would oppose the upcoming election unless it followed national reform.
Suthep said he would soon mobilise anti-government protesters for another mass rally in Bangkok.
“There will be heavier opposition as we call for immediate national reform,” he said.
“An election only comes after that. So don’t try. It will be a waste of energy and budget as the people are not ready to go voting. They want reform.”
Meanwhile, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva called on caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Suthep to come together in televised talks to try and find a solution to the political problems.
Speaking at a PDRC event at Lumpini Park in Bangkok yesterday to raise funds for rice farmers, Abhisit said the Democrat Party, which boycotted the February 2 election, would run in the next election if it was organised fairly and “acceptable to all sides”.
“Unless the PM agrees to hold talks, the country cannot move on,” he said, without revealing if he had discussed the matter with Suthep.
The date for a new general election is yet to be set, with the Election Commission to discuss the matter with the government and the other political parties.
Pheu Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit called on the Election Commissioners to resign and pay the Bt3.8 billion cost incurred in staging the February 2 poll.
His deputy, Anusorn Iamsa-ard, reiterated that there had been a conspiracy by the PDRC and some political parties, independent agencies as well as the military and unidentified forces to topple the government.
Democrat spokesman Ongart Klampaiboon labelled the allegation “groundless” and condemned Pheu Thai for making it.
Suthep said Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn had asked him not to obstruct the February 2 election and had made the same request again.
However, Suthep said the PDRC would not accept the talk coming from politicians.
Like Somchai, he said the EC should not have to pay for the failed election. It was the government’s responsibility.
Suthep and PDRC leader Thaworn Senneam yesterday spoke to PDRC guards about democracy.
Thaworn said the PDRC would keep a close eye on the impeachment case against caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating her but has yet to decide whether to indict her for alleged negligence in the rice-pledging scheme.
Thaworn said that while holding a new election before national reform was against the stance of the PDRC, it was unclear whether the organisation’s supporters continued to support the same stance.
“Trying to have an election using the same rules will only bring doom to the country,” he said.
“The PDRC leaders will evaluate many factors. Whether we will close the roads [for rallying]. He said it would be up to the PDRC’s leaders to decide whether to ask government officials to join the protest.